I would like to use Roon, the software looks great and has a lot of features I would like to use, but unfortunately restricting to ALSA only for linux is a no go for me. The argument the Roon needs exclusive access to the hardware does not seem to be true on MacOS. I do not have a Windows machine so I cannot check there. The common “audiophile” argument that pulseaudio has latency issues when compared to alsa hasn’t been true for years now. Yes JACK has better latency, but very few people use it.
I would be ok with a default option of ALSA but it would be nice to provide and option to switch to pulseaudio.
Fedora and Ubuntu have switched or are switching to pipewire and I guess others are in the same boat
Difference here is that Roon on MacOS is meant to run on both desktop machines with GUI operated in interactive mode by users as well as on headless endpoints whereas Roon on Linux is meant to run on headless endpoints only. If Roon ever get a native GUI client for Linux then output over PulseAudio would become a valid use case
If you want playback without system sounds you need exclusive control on Mac but it’s an option to have it on or off same as windows.
I understand that the current Roon version for linux is meant for headless, but there are some people who do use linux as their main desktop (there’s dozens of us, dozens!). I get that any change eats into developer time and can add potential maintenance costs. I am not expecting or even asking for a linux client, that is way too much to ask for. Pulseaudio as an option I think is far more narrow in scope.
I run linux as my main desktop and am somewhat happily running the remote in Wine, with a separate Core. I gather that for local audio output on the desktop I’d have to run Roon Bridge in addition to the remote, but I don’t need that.
What would the advantage be of having pulseaudio or pipewire support for a network music player?
I have speakers thru out the house that I plan to have hooked up to network music players but when working I actually prefer headphones. I can use the Roon bridge to listen to to music on my desktop but I lose things like slack notifications and calendar notifications. This is because Roon takes exclusive access of the audio device.